Passions & Places

Lonzino di fico

Lonza di fico

"Lonza di fico" is a countryside speciality called also "salame, lonzetta di fico secco, lonza di fico" or "salamino".

Memory brings back images of a grandma going in the field with children to pick figs. At the end of summer, in September, picking of fruits would start. Nuts and figs were picked thinking about winter supplies. Since figs abundantly ripen all at the same time, they could certainly not be left on the ground. Instead, they would be dried up under the sun.

Afterwards, skilful hands of a housewife would add rum or a spoon of "mistrà" (liqueur), and sometimes almonds. Lonza would be wrapped in green fig leaves and fastened with a string.

School children would have three slices of that sweet sausage for a snack. These flavours and fragrance reach far from memories and should not be forgotten.

Once upon a time, in order to preserve their quality, September figs and “brogiotti” (sort of fig), sweet as “ambrosia of Gods” and “rich with sweet honey juice”, would be dried up under the sun and in ovens of countryside houses. Strung up on home-made cords and hanged on ceilings, some of those fruit rings would wait to be given to the proprietors of estate; others to be eaten during feasts. All of them would stand for poverty and gift.

It becomes more and more difficult to find salame or lonzetta di ficosecco, called also “torrone”. This small fig sausage, at times baked in the oven, is made of dried up figs, ground together with candied squares of cedar, almonds and anise seeds.

Compact golden brown sausage is then wrapped in fig leaves and fastened tightly all around with strings of wool. The bigger the morsel is, the better the flavour is tasted. Slices, therefore, cannot be thin.

This is how the old tradition of the countryside of the Marches hands over to us this small sweet sausage prepared with figs dried up under the sun, ground, mixed with sapa, anise, almonds, nuts and then wrapped in fig leaves in order to give it shape.

It is excellent cut into slices and served with sheep cheese. Lonza di fico is a sweet food product belonging to the category of Intermediate Moisture Foods (IMF) that remain stable at the room temperature for about three months.

It is, therefore, advised to preserve that sweetness in order to enjoy it in the most exquisite moments.

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